Phosphorescent

Wednesday

SXSW Records

Phosphorescent

To Willie (Dead Oceans)

Covering Willie Nelson is an exercise in hubris, making Phosphorescent's tribute to the Texas icon all the more substantial. Graceful, honest, and wringing every understated ounce of emotion from the tunes, Matthew Houck focuses on the country figurehead's wearier numbers, the Sunday morning after Saturday night's whiskey river. Houck's hiccuped and cracked delivery on opener "Reasons to Quit" and "Heartaches of a Fool" is wracked with regret well beyond his years, taking cues from the original's behind-the-beat phrasing, while "Pick Up the Tempo" and "I Gotta Get Drunk" lazily infuse some energy. Despite the synthesized haze of "Permanently Lonely," arrangements remain largely sparse and traditional, pedal steel crying on "The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)" and "Can I Sleep in Your Arms" swelling in secular gospel harmony. "The Party's Over" closes with a honky-tonk nod to Phosphorescent's own Aw Come Aw Wry, a fitting homage. (Wed., Club de Ville, 12mid; Thu., Mohawk Patio, 9:40pm.)

***.5

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More Phosphorescent
SXSW 2013 Records
Phosphorescent
Muchacho (Record Review)

Austin Powell, March 15, 2013

SXSW Platters
Phosphorescent
Pride (Record Review)

Austin Powell, March 14, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Willie Nelson
God's Problem Child (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 28, 2017

SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Sunny Sweeney
Trophy (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, March 17, 2017

More by Doug Freeman
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Does What He Wants (Record Review)

April 28, 2017

Texas Platters
Will Johnson
Hatteras Night, a Good Luck Charm (Record Review)

April 14, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Phosphorescent

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)